Friday, January 4, 2013

Dolphins work out CFL offensive lineman Brian Simmons

Update (1/5): In addition to Simmons, the Dolphins also worked out CFL defensive end Lee Robinson and wide receiver Spencer Watt on Thursday.

General manager Jeff Ireland and the Miami Dolphins have made it a point to look for talent north of the border since they arrived in 2008, and we saw two of their best CFL imports find great success in 2012 with defensive end Cameron Wake making his second Pro Bowl and Marcus Thigpen ranking as one of the league's top returners.

That search has continued into the early stages of the 2013 offseason, with President Paul Sheehy of ProStar Sports Agency (who also happens to represent Wake) tweeting that client Brian Simmons—an offensive lineman for the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats—worked out for the team Thursday.

I spoke with a representative from ProStar today and he indicated that Simmons has workouts with six NFL teams on his schedule, and they are working through that process now.

Simmons played college football at Oklahoma, redshirting in 2005 and working three seasons as a reserve guard while seeing the occasional start. He opened his senior season in 2009 at left guard before an injury forced him to miss five games.

After going undrafted in 2010, Simmons signed with the New England Patriots in August but was released prior to the regular season. He joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2011 and worked himself into the team's starting left tackle, where he has opened 28 games over the past two seasons including every snap in 2012.

No word yet on of the Dolphins plan to offer Simmons a contract. It seems likely they would view him as more of a guard than a tackle, where they currently only have three players under contract—starters Richie Incognito and John Jerry and 2012 practice-squadder Chandler Burden. Second-year center Josh Samuda also saw some brief game action for the Dolphins at guard.

An interesting fact about Simmons, gleaned from his Oklahoma Sooners bio, is that he was born with a club foot and wheres a size 15 right shoe and a size 18 left shoe. It's obvious he's overcome this situation very well to get to this point, though no doubt this has scared some NFL teams off in their evaluation because footwork and balance are key aspects of the position.

You can keep track of the Dolphins' CFL history here, which is accessible through the Dolphins History section of the main menu.